No talks to resume potash marketing pact with Belarus – Uralkali CEO

Russian potash giant Uralkali JSC has no plans to restore a sales partnership with Belarus.

“There are no negotiations going on at the moment with Belarus, with the Belarusian Potash Company,” Dmitry Osipov, Uralkali Chief Executive, told the Wall Street Journal.

 “We sell through our own channels; they sell by their own,” Mr. Osipov said of his former partner.

Restoring ties with BPC would raise a series of questions, he said. 

“Under what conditions should we build this new marketing vehicle? Where should be the headquarters; what should be the proportion; what should be the aim; what should be the goal? There are no answers to these questions.”

Uralkali’s decision to exit BPC ended an informal global-pricing cartel made up of BPC and North America’s Canpotex Ltd. that once controlled two-thirds of the world’s potash supply. The Russian miner’s move sent potash company stocks plunging last year, sparked a furious response by Belarus and landed the Russian company’s former boss in a Belarusian jail.

Vladislav Baumgertner, director general of Russian potash company Uralkali and chairman of the supervisory board of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), was handcuffed at the National airport of Belarus on August 26, 2013. As Mr Baumgertner was in Minsk on the personal invitation of Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich the arrest immediately escalated into an international scandal. At first he was accused of abuse of office under Article 424 of the Belarusian Criminal Code and put to ‘Amerykanka’, the KGB predetention centre.

In November, 2013 he was extradited to Moscow.

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